Archive for the 'Watching the classics' Category

Ghibli films in Providence, RI — 31 May, Suzuki to attend and answer questions

A natural choice: the creation of textiles and dyes is a part of the RISD curriculum.

The Providence Children’s Film Festival is partnering with the Rhode Island School of Design for screenings of Spirited Away and Only Yesterday on May 31.

Studio Ghibli will be receiving an honorary degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) at this year’s commencement. Producer Toshio Suzuki will be attending Spirited Away for a Q & A after the screening.

Welcome to Providence. And Chihiro thought the place on the other side of the tunnel was weird.

Both films will be from newly struck 35mm prints in Japanese w/English subtitles.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are available through EventBrite. Spirited Away will kick the evening off from 5:30 to 7:30PM, followed by the Q&A with Suzuki from 7:30 to 8:30PM. Only Yesterday will play from 9:00 to 11:00PM.


Cardcaptor Sakura Tuesdays: ep 25: The two Sakuras

by dm00

Sakura confronts her doppelganger

The Megatokyo Forum Cardcaptor Sakura discussion has been down for a while so Cardcaptor Sakura Tuesdays will have to find a new home for a while.

Here’s the first post in this series. I’ve been a bit remiss — I haven’t had a great deal to say about the past dozen episodes, really.

But episode 25, “The Two Sakuras”, takes a darker turn than has been the case for episodes that have come before. Oh, I suppose the fight with Watery had a sense of menace to it, but nothing like the creepiness as a silent Sakura leads Touya deep into a forest and over a cliff. A great series looks like it is getting even better.

Continue reading ‘Cardcaptor Sakura Tuesdays: ep 25: The two Sakuras’

Cardcaptor Sakura 9 & 10

by dm00


Cardcaptor Sakura Tuesdays continue with this week bringing us two new cards: Sword, and Flower.

Last week, Li showed up and spent an entire episode scowling and griping at Sakura. This week, the scowls and the gripes continue and are taking their toll — Sakura suffers a crisis of confidence.

Sakura's observant friends can tell something is up, though only Tomoyo knows the reason for Sakura's blues. Tomoyo arranges an outing which turns into an encounter with the Sword card, who possesses Rika. Li arrives, and is willing to injure Rika if that's what it takes to get the card. Sakura has a better idea.

Episode ten is all Li man-crush on Yukito while the Flower card celebrates the school athletic festival. Trust Yukito to talk about making jam from all the flower-petals.

More discussion here.

Episodes 7 & 8 (which I was too busy to talk about last week) are discussed here.

Cardcaptor Sakura 5&6

by dm00

Sakura expression of the week

The forums are were down, but that doesn’t stop being charmed weekly by watching Cardcaptor Sakura.

In episode five Sakura catches Kero-chan chatting up a plush-toy cat (see above) while looking for the plush toy that’s inhabited by the Jump card in a newly-opened shop near Sakura’s school. Meanwhile, Tomoyo is distracting the owner of the shop with a long monologue on video technology (including something of a poke at the fourth wall: after singing the praises of digital technology and its ability to make perfect copies, Tomoyo frets about copyright concerns).

Episode six tells us a bit more about Sakura’s mother, who died when Sakura was very young. A Clow Card haunts a wood near Sakura’s school. There, it gives people visions derived from their desires (hungry Tomoyo sees a giant meat-bun). For Sakura, it takes the form of her mother, and lures her over the edge of a cliff.

Fortunately, Sakura seems to receive some ghostly help to ease her down to the base of the cliff (where Yukito is conveniently walking by).

Sakura is afraid of ghosts, but probably not this one

Cardcaptor Sakura 3&4

It's a good thing she's a little girl, or that leer would be creepy

After ineffectively pounding on the glass, showing “Pengi-san! Pengi-san!” Sakura turns an overheard mention of the aquarium food-storage deep-freeze into a solution for the Watery card, something that had left Kero-chan stumped. Bravery and resourcefulness.

Then in episode four, Tomoyo is unflappable as she opens the door to find her friend menaced by wooden tentacles.

More discussion starting here.

Cardcaptor Sakura 1&2

by dm00

Tomoyo's reaction to the sudden appearance of Kero-chan is somewhat different

I’m watching bog-standard DVDs from Pioneer (at least the first one is from Pioneer, maybe some of the later ones were from Geneon). With that, my first thought was: damn, this series looks good. Those colors, that movement, those costumes. This series is drop-dead gorgeous. I imagine it’s a treat on Blu-Ray.

This series looks gorgeous

My second thought was the realization that this was all done by hand, this is all at least borderline pre-use-of-computers in anime (1998-2000). There is a lot of strong animation here: Sakura tosses a baton in the air and we’re treated to a close up of her fingers as she catches it with a twirl; the magic circle that appears as she transforms is wreathed in smoke; the battle scenes are also very attractive and well done.

Third: this music is really good (the OP is extremely sweet, even if I can’t keep that wretched crossplay version from popping into my head from time to time). The ED I can do without.

It’s interesting to watch this series in this post-Madoka era. Kero-chan (now) reminds me of Kyuubey. Did he really ask Sakura to make a contract with him? Tomoyo –> Homura? An opening dream sequence presaging Things to Come?

Gosh, in CLAMP-world boys go through some incredible transformations between age 10 and age 16 — doubling in height, while their shoulders broaden to maybe three feet. Except Yukito. He’s pretty narrow-shouldered.

The first episode of the series establishes Sakura as a character: she’s athletic and cheerful, she tells us. A few minutes later she proves it when we see her doing a back-flip and twirling a baton in a fore-shadowing of her acrobatics while battling escaped Clow Cards.

Seconds into episode two, Sakura’s secret is accidentally revealed to her unflappable friend Tomoyo, who sees Sakura’s new Cardcaptor status as an opportunity. Later that day, she and her minions arrive with a van full of magical girl costumes. Fortune favors the prepared mind.

Tomoyo learned about Sakura's magical-girlhood that afternoon

Sakura is a wonderfully charming character: a little bratty, a little scared, but also resourceful (she captures her first card with little more than her skills with rollerblades and batons) and courageous.

There are more intelligent things being said about this series here (or will be when the site comes back up).

Cardcaptor Sakura Tuesdays

by dm00

Just the excuse you need

Tap-tap-tap. Is this thing still working?

(Re-)Watching old favorites is something we all do from time to time, but there are so many great old shows to choose from, it can be a lonely activity, since everyone you know is watching something different. You maybe want to talk about it, but the extent of the discussion tends to be, “Yeah, that was a great show”.

Over at This place where TheBigN and some of the rest of us hang out we’ve been watching Last Exile on Tuesdays and watching Nadesico on Thursdays, almost as though they were currently airing, and then turning to the forum to discuss what we’ve noticed, or simply to burble with fanboy enthusiasm for what we’ve seen.

I’ve been having a good time with it, mostly because it gives me that added impetus to blow the dust off old disks and watch good old anime. For CCS, this will be the first time I’ve seen most of the series (because there will be first-time viewers, we try to keep the discussion limited to only those episodes that have been seen up to that week).

Doing this once a week means even someone with the busiest schedule has little difficulty keeping up, and it also adds/restores a bit of flavor to the series — you become distinctly aware how many episodes of Last Exile end on a cliffhanger, or “that damned feather” appears much too soon. The temptation to keep going can be pretty strong.

We’ve finished Last Exile, so now we’re starting Cardcaptor Sakura (since the series is so long, we’re allowing two episodes a week). Tuesday, 2 August, we’ll watch episodes one and two. And, you don’t have to like (or even read) the web-comic to participate in the anime&manga subforum (“There’s a webcomic?” is a standing joke there).

The Authors (with others, too.)

The Good Old Days

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